• nicole calder

TRAUMA




how do you ever get over something that's happened to you?


trauma permanently changes the brain. it changes the way you think, feel, and process everything around you. it takes your openness to the world and makes it smaller. every day, on some overt or covert level, becomes changed. instead of living in freedom, you start living in fear. i've often thought, isn't it so sad that one event can permanently change the rest of your life? is there any way to overcome what's happened so you can return to living freely?


i'm not sure there is any way you can 'get over' what's happened; this trauma has become your new reality. there's no way to untangle those neural pathways. so i think the language around trauma needs to change; it's not something people need to 'resolve' or 'get over' - it's something to make friends with and accept. recovery isn't finite; it's infinite.


i've seen people close to me suffer heinous traumatic experiences. and i see how it continues to affect them long after the actual event. although i've never experienced anything similar, my only ability to empathise is how tearing my acls permanently changed my thought processes.


when i'm at work, i'm conscious of how i walk. when i play soccer, i’m afraid of tearing it again. when i'm standing around, there's a fear my knee will give way. no matter how many times it doesn't happen, the trauma of my injuries has seared that fear into my neural pathways. so i can't begin to imagine what it must be like for those who have experienced other traumatic events.


i don't think trauma is anything people ever fully heal from - and by heal i mean in the form of forgetting. because trauma permanently changes your brain, it becomes a part of you. it leaves scars. i'm not sure trying to overcome it is the solution - i think learning to live with it, to accept it, and to understand its role in who you've become is more attainable.


although trauma undoubtedly makes your world smaller, it doesn't make you or your value in this world any less. what happened to you is not your fault and i hope one day all of you who have experienced a traumatic experience don't just know that, but believe it too.

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